The Oscars Rundown…

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

For weeks my fellow movie fans and I have talked about, wrote about, predicted, and anxiously awaited the Academy Awards and their celebration of the 2013 movie year. Well, just like that they have come and gone. On Sunday night Hollywood put on their best suits, best dresses, blinding bling, and headed to the biggest show of the year. Quite a bit of intrigue had built up leading up to show and we were left with plenty to talk about. So lets hop right into it. Here are a few thoughts in my Oscars Rundown:

  • Overall it was a pretty predictable show once again. I and many others perfectly predicted the major writing, acting, directing categories as well as Best Picture. Why are the Academy Awards so predictable? Is it because of our easy access to all of the other awards shows which usually frames the Oscar winners? Or does it reveal something within the Academy’s voting system?
  • “12 Years a Slave” joins the celebrated list of Oscar Best Picture winners. Personally I think “Gravity” is a better film, but I have no problem with “12 Years a Slave” winning. It has its flaws (I’m looking at you Brad Pitt) but it is still a powerful and piercing film that people will still be talking about 10 years from now.
  • I loved seeing Alfonso Cuaron win the Oscar for Best Director. What he accomplished with “Gravity” was monumental. The visuals were jaw-dropping and what he and his crew did to advance special effects is incredible. But it is also an emotionally satisfying story that hooked me from the start. Cuaron was the anchor.
  • “American Hustle” was tied with “Gravity” for the most nominations. In the end the David O. Russell ensemble piece went home empty-handed. Honestly I had no problem with that. For me “American Hustle” stands out only for its performances and they weren’t strong enough to beat out the more deserving ones. It’s a decent movie but it’s not one with much staying power.
  • I have to say I was sorely disappointed with how the Best Documentary category turned out. “20 Feet from Stardom” won the Oscar and it’s a nice little film. But there is no way it is as powerful or as important as “The Square” or “The Art of Killing”.
  • To my surprise Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t terrible. Her humor was a bit hit or miss but as a whole she was pretty good. She kept things lively and the participation she pulled from the audience was a lot of fun. She also managed several good laughs. Not the best host but better than I was expecting.
  • Bummed that “Nebraska” didn’t take home at least one Oscar but to be honest it wasn’t surprising. It was a long shot for every category it was nominated in. Still it was a tremendous film featuring a wonderful story, really good performances, and gorgeous cinematography. I’m thankful Oscar at least recognized it with some nominations.
  • This was an Oscar night of wonderful speeches. The two real standouts came from Lupita Nyong’o and Matthew McConaughey. Nyong’o poured out her heart and everyone could sense the appreciation and pure joy through her words. McConaughey was just a blast. He talked about what inspired him. He made it personal and heartfelt by thanking God and his family. These were just two of the many great speeches.
  • I’m still frustrated over “The Hunt” not earning more than one Oscar nomination. I was even more bummed when it lost out in its lone category – Best Foreign Language Film. “The Hunt” was a phenomenal film and it deserved a lot more recognition from the Academy than it was given.
  • Cate Blanchett was one of the more obvious winners of the night but it was such a well deserved win. She was incredible to watch as she fleshed out her fractured and emotionally complex character. Blanchett also gave us a great acceptance speech which was a real treat.
  • Everyone knew Jared Leto was going to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar so it came as no surprise when his name was announced. But I still wanted Michael Fassbender to get it. Leto was good but it was Fassbender’s work that had the bigger effect on me out of the two. Hopefully Fassy won’t have to wait a long time to win like someone else we know (right Leo?).
  • I gotta admit the mass “selfy” (which was photo-bombed by Kevin Spacey) was actually pretty funny. It certainly brought a brief halt to my live tweeting!
  • Family seemed to be a reoccurring theme throughout the Oscars. So many “thank you’s” went out to family members but there were also many people who brought their mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, or sisters with them. It was really cool to see.
  • Some people don’t care for the “In Memorium” segment of the Oscars but I actually love them. So many greats were mentioned including Fontaine, Ebert, Gandolfini, Temple-Black, Hoffman, and Ramis just to name a few. But may I ask where was Dennis Farina??? Seriously Academy???
  • Wasn’t a bit weird that the Razzie winning actor Will Smith was selected to present the Best Picture Oscar?
  • The Oscars are always criticized for going so long and ending so late. Here’s a possible solution. Don’t wait to start the show at 8:30 Eastern/7:30 Central. I know it’s out on the West Coast but I bet the celebs could get there a little earlier.
  • I would have loved to hear John Travolta announce Chiwetel Ejiofor!

So those are just a few thoughts on cinema’s biggest night of the year. What stood out to you? Did you enjoy the show? Please take some time to share your thoughts on this year’s Academy Awards. They will be back around before you know it. See you then!


56 thoughts on “The Oscars Rundown…

  1. Have not watched it, only read about it and I can understand the winners, except for (as you mention) 20 Feet from Stardom. Watched The Square this weekend and it is a much better documentary, same thing goes for The Act of Killing.

    • I can’t help but wonder if “Stardom” won because of the people who were voting? Stars and actors voting for background performers. It would make sense.

      • You could also ask how many people have seen all the documentaries…in general documentaries aren’t as popular to watch compared to other movies.

      • That’s true. At one time Oscar voters had to show proof that they had seen all of the films in the categories they were voting on. They’ve done away with that rule now so that could play into “Stardom” winning!

  2. Agreed on documentary and foreign. They got both of those awards wrong.

    The awards are televised as late as they for advertising reasons. 7:30 CST is prime time. It’s when the most viewers are tuning in, and the advertisers thereby reach the biggest audiences. I doubt the start time ever changes.

      • Hmmm. Possibly but I don’t know. Too often I disagree with those choices but again those types of things are subjective. I just don’t think the predictability comes from the Oscars always getting it right.

        15 or 20 years ago we didn’t have such open access to the other awards shows. SAG, Golden Globes, Spirits, BAFTAS, etc. Now we are saturated with information and most often these awards are precursors to the Oscars. Plus considering that many in the Academy also vote in the SAG, Directors Guild, etc. it all kinda makes sense.

      • I think that’s a factor, too, without question. Maybe even the biggest one. I was just adding another option.

        This year, I think they got all of the major categories “correct.” Last year most of them were “right,” too.

        So I figured it was something worth considering is all. 🙂

      • For me it was really hard to argue with three of the four acting winners. And I will say that the one I disagree with is still a strong performance.

        I certainly don’t want to sound like I’m discrediting your thoughts though. I’m a BIG fan of the Oscars and their rich history. If they were constantly blowing their votes I wouldn’t have as much respect for them. In other words your idea definitely carries weight.

  3. The awards themselves were very predictable. Lots of good speeches. The two you highlighted might be my faves as well. I really enjoyed Ellen DeGeneres. I thought she was having a blast and helped the audience have a blast. The pizza got overshadowed by the selfie, but I thought that was an epic moment as well.

  4. The awards were predictable and the show seemed to drag on, but most importantly, American Hustle was completely shut out… which makes this my favorite ceremony in recent memory, haha.

  5. I totally agree about The Hunt not scooping best Foreign Film. Admittedly I’ve not seen the competition, but I thought it was a shoo-in.

    Really pleased for my main man Matthew McConaughey though, a true star!

    • I’m so glad that MM has gotten back on track. He was always a good actor even if the movies he was in didn’t reflect that. Glad to see him make better choices which led to last night’s big moment!

      I certainly can’t argue with MM winning but I really think Fassbender gave a stronger performance that Leto. But that’s just my personal take.

    • I would’ve loved for Nebraska to have taken home something. Such a great movie. As for Leo, I was actually rooting against him. I love him as an actor but I really didn’t like that movie. I’m also wildly against the whole idea of giving someone an acting Oscar for their body of work. To me it should be strictly based on the one performance and Leo didn’t do it for me.

  6. Fassbender and DiCaprio should have won their categories respectively, in my opinion. Leto didn’t impress me at all in DBC, well, no where near as strongly and memorable as Fassbender did. Would have loved to see Bullock take the Oscar home, pity.

    • This wasn’t my favorite DiCaprio performance but I am definitely with you on Fassbender. I thought Leto was good but his character fell into sentimentality and I thought the performance became a bit theatrical.

      I would not have been angry if Bullock one. She’s very good in Gravity. But I also loved Blanchett. I think she deserved it.

      What about Jennifer Lawrence? There is a faction who believes she should have won this year. I totally disagree.

      • I also disagree with Lawrence winning for American Hustle. Love the movie and she’s good in it but not Oscar worthy.

        Not Leo’s best performance, but still staggering, to me anyway. I just want him to win dammit lol. He’s so good in so many movies!

        Fassbender should have won! Oh well, at least he was recognized.

      • Has Lawrence become Hollywood’s new darling? That’s what some are saying but I don’t know if that’s necessarily fair. Hollywood seems to view her as that but I don’t think she plays up to it at all. I still consider myself a fan of hers. Really good young actress with a lot of big roles ahead of her.

  7. Fabulous commentary there bro! It does indeed look like the round table where on the ball the other day. Can’t argue with any of the winners to be honest, there was a nice spread of awards too, with the exception of Nebraska and, of course, The Hunt. They deserved something and like you, I was really rooting for Fassy. Maybe next time.

    • Thanks man. I hope Fassbender isn’t the next DiCaprio. I liked his performance a lot better than Leto’s even though Leto was good.

      I think the Oscars did a good job of spreading the love around. Like you said though, I was really rooting for Nebraska to take something home. It’s such a good film.

  8. As Mark said, we were all spot on for best picture! I thought we were all gonna have egg on our faces when Gravity started to sweep the board. Most of it did go by the book to be honest but I still enjoyed watching it, most were very worthy winners in my opinion.

  9. Insightful post Keith, I have to say it was really quite ironic that Will Smith came out to do the honors. Something tells me he got that position out of pity! 🙂

    I actually quite liked this year’s Oscars, even though I think the whole thing is somewhat of a joke. People’s opinions vary so much on these sorts of things, so who is the Academy to say which is better and which is worse? I know that’s a pretty academic argument since the Oscars have been in place for virtually as long as the medium itself. Perhaps when (or if) you see my own Oscars-related post you’ll see what I mean by all of that hahah.

    That said, I was SO happy to see Spike Jonze receive the credit for his incredible Her screenplay. I know you weren’t completely bowled over by it, but I thought that script was amazing and needed honors. For whatever that’s worth.

    • Thanks man and I did read your piece. Loved it. I think what I like the most is that the Oscars did spread the wealth around this year. Several movies got recognized instead of just one or two sweeping everything. I mean even Gatsby got two Oscars. 😉

      Well maybe that’s not exactly true. American Hustle was shut out but that didn’t really bother me. I was rooting for Nebraska though. I knew it didn’t really have a chance but I certainly would have smiled if it was recognized for something.

  10. In all honestly if Travolta attempted to say Chiwetel’s last name he would probably slip into a coma due to effort. So glad you liked Matt’s speech – there is so much negativity for him and Leto on the INTERNET I thought they were awesome on stage.

  11. Ha! Love your comments and agree mostly with you. I thought it particurlaly strange that Will Smith delivered the Best Film award. The hero theme was lame and much of the evening seemefd medicore at best. Yes, to the horrendous hack jobs by plastic surgeons. What a shame! From Laura Dern to Liza to Kim Novak–OMG.

    • Yep, yep, yep. But still I had a great time watching it. I always seem to but not surprisingly some shows are better than others. Oh Kim Novak… Sigh!

  12. Great post. Agree with you about Nebraska – in any other year it could probably have won Best Cinematography and it’s a shame they had to go home empty handed. Really pleased for Blanchett, Leto, McConaughey and Nyong’o though. Her was also a great winner of Original Screenplay but Blue Jasmine was my personal favourite of the year.

    • That Original Screenplay category was where I wish Nebraska had won. I had some issues with Her’s screenplay. Blue Jasmine’s screenplay was very good – also better than Her IMO.

      • I agree I had some issues with the ending of Her but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment and I found myself discussing the themes the screenplay rose for days. That said, I also spent days discussing Nebraska too! The screenplay brought to light so many ideas about life, ambition and fulfilment – it was very moving and I can completely see why you would choose it as your winner!

  13. The awards were predictable but overall there was little to complain about since a majority of the winners were deserving. I was thrilled to see Spike Jonze and Nyong’o win.

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